FCC Should Adopt an Incentive-Based Approach to Promote Buildout in Rural America
Washington, DC – October 31,2017 – Today, in reply comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”), Competitive Carriers Association (“CCA”) encouraged the Commission to refrain from imposing enhanced reporting and buildout requirements on existing licenses or renewal applications for wireless geographic licenses. Instead, CCA urged the FCC to adopt an incentive-based approach to increase buildout in rural America.
In a statement, CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry said, “CCA fully supports the FCC’s goal of closing the digital divide, and agrees with the majority of commenters that an incentive-based approach is the best way to promote buildout in unserved and underserved areas. It is a well-known fact that buildout in rural and remote areas can be difficult and costly. Competitive carriers oftentimes are the only carriers servicing these areas and should not be burdened with onerous and unnecessary, additional buildout requirements on existing or renewal license applications, when they already face substantial challenges in deploying wireless broadband services to unserved and underserved portions of the country.”
“Instead of implementing additional burdensome requirements, the FCC should pursue tactics to help promote deployment in rural areas, including adopting reasonable geographic license sizes throughout the country to reflect particular challenges like lower density and difficult terrain. The Commission also should move forward with the creation of a ‘rural dividend’ as proposed in Chairman Pai’s Digital Empowerment Agenda, and for which Congress has shown bipartisan support, to supplement existing funding sources by setting aside ten percent of money raised from spectrum auctions for mobile broadband deployment in rural areas. Unserved and underserved areas need access to robust mobile broadband services now, and the FCC should take this opportunity to increase buildout to areas in-need by adopting incentive-based policies, rather than further bogging down the process with unnecessary regulatory requirements.”
CCA is the nation’s leading association for competitive wireless providers and stakeholders across the United States. The licensed service area of CCA’s nearly 100 carrier members covers 95 percent of the nation. Visit www.ccamobile.org.
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